Emotional systems help us survive and thrive.
They are as innate as our ability to see when we open your eyes, pick up changes in sound waves via our ears, and feel temperature change and touch via our skin.
When an emotional system is activated a corresponding feeling can be experienced, which gives us direction, motivation and clarity to respond to the situations we find ourselves in.
The emotional systems that have been identified across animal species so far are:
– Follow our urge to seek and find so we meet our needs – SEEKING system
– To create safety and respond to danger when it approaches – SAFETY/FEAR system
– Assert and set limits about our physical and emotional needs – ASSERTIVENESS / RAGE system
– Experience pleasure and sexual desire – FEELS GOOD / LUST system
– Connect with others, identify and prevent loss of connection, as well as grieve our loses and connect again – CONNECTION / GRIEF system
– Build relationships with careful and close attention – CARE system
– Learn and develop by playing - rambunctiously, spontaneously, without expectations or judgement – PLAY system
Just knowing about them can make a huge difference. But when we have been blocked after trauma or challenges - how do you activate these effectively in your life?
We need them all but after challenges we can instead be constrained by internal experiences of guilt, shame, anxiety, criticism...
or constrained by external experiences of being labelled, pathologised, teased, undermined or dismissed.
Where can you start to explore the powerful emotional systems?
Do you want to pay attention to your emotional systems so you can guide your mind and direct your life?